While the talks between James and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and coach Darvin Ham were described as “productive,” no new deal has been reached.
It’s unclear when such an extension will be reached, and James actually has until June 30, 2023, to sign the extension before he becomes a free agent. Thursday was the first day that James was eligible to sign a two-year, $97.1 million extension with the Lakers, the maximum length allowed for a player his age under the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
James is set to enter the final year of his two-year, $85.6 million deal with the Lakers this season. The 37-year-old averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 56 games last year in Los Angeles, though he failed to lead them to the playoffs just two years after winning an NBA title.
Regardless of how James’ contract extension shakes out, he has said that he wants to play with his oldest son in the league before he retires. Bronny is entering his senior year of high school this fall, and will be eligible to play in the NBA in 2024.
“My last year will be played with my son,” James said earlier this year. “Wherever Bronny is at, that’s where I’ll be. I would do whatever it takes to play with my son for one year. It’s not about the money at that point.”